What do Real Estate Attorneys Do?
With the high cost of real estate, one might be tempted to forego an attorney to save money in the transaction. Real estate transactions are complex; saving money on an attorney is penny wise and dollar foolish in the long run. A real estate attorney will review the deal, negotiate terms, and protect your interests. Your attorney may notice something that you could overlook, and potentially save you from future problems. When buying or selling real estate, an attorney is an essential part of the process.
What Your Attorney Does
An attorney can assist whether you are buying or selling real estate. The attorney’s role may vary slightly depending on your needs and the particular situation.
If you are buying real estate your real estate attorney will help you:
- Understand the purchase contract. The purchase contract is a legally binding document. Make sure you understand what you are signing before agreeing to the terms. Many contracts allow time for an attorney review period.
- Negotiate terms of the purchase contract. If you are unable to agree to terms, an attorney can negotiate with the other side. You may want the seller to fix problems or lower the price if the inspection shows an unexpected issue.
- Obtain the title commitment. It is very important to make sure that the title is clear and that there are no unknown liens. This is an essential step in the process.
- Check that there are no easements, covenants or liens that will hinder your use of the property. Your attorney can help you determine what easements, covenants, or liens exist on the property. Make sure that these will not interfere with your desired use of the property.
- Prepare all legal documents. Skip the urge to visit the internet and have an attorney draft legal documents specific to your transaction.
- Record all legal documents and post closing. If anything needs to be recorded with the county, your attorney can help with that process and help if anything needs attention after the closing.
- Clarify terms of your mortgage. Loan documents are lengthy and complex. Your attorney can help clarify and explain what you are signing.
- Explain tax obligations. Depending on the circumstances of the purchase, you may have tax obligations. Your attorney can help explain and clarify any issues.
- Attend closing and explain all documents. Your attorney will attend the closing to explain documents and deal with any problems that may arise.
If you are selling real estate your real estate attorney will help you:
- Review the purchase agreement. Your attorney will help explain the purchase agreement, and make sure you know what you are signing and agreeing to.
Negotiate terms of the purchase agreement. You attorney can help negotiate terms of the contract with the buyer.
- Prepare the deed. It is important that the deed is properly prepared and recorded. This is an important duty of the attorney.
- Deal with and correct any issues that arise. Throughout a real estate transaction many unforeseen issues may arise. Your attorney can help you with whatever situation occurs.
- Attend the closing. Your attorney will be present at the closing to help you understand the documents and deal with any problems that may come up.
Review all documents signed at the closing. Have your attorney review all the closing documents and explain them before signing.
What other services can real estate attorneys provide?
Not all real estate transactions are the same. If complications arise, an attorney can help deal with any issues. When a transaction isn’t routine, an attorney can also help with:
- Litigation. If problems arise during the transaction, you may find yourself embroiled in litigation. An experienced litigation attorney can help you navigate the process and provide valuable advice.
- Foreclosure. If you house is going into foreclosure an attorney can help you through the process. It is important to have an advocate on your side. Your attorney is that advocate that will look out for your interests.
How much does a real estate attorney cost?
Costs may vary from attorney to attorney, some charging between $500 to $1500. Some may charge a flat fee and others may charge by the hour. Talk with the attorney to learn what the costs cover and what the full fee includes. When comparing costs between attorneys, make sure to compare what the fee covers. Some may charge a lower fee, but provide far less service. The cheapest usually winds up being the most expensive.
Hiring a Real Estate Attorney
Always choose an attorney with experience and a good reputation. Gilmartin Legal has both. For your next real estate transaction, give the attorneys at Gilmartin Legal a call.